James is playing for Bayern future – Kovac

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Bongarts
The midfielder has struggled with injuries in his second season on loan from Real Madrid

Bayern Munich head coach Niko Kovac expects James Rodriguez to retain his motivation and focus for the rest of the season because he is "playing for his future" at the club.

James joined Bayern on a two-year loan deal from Real Madrid at the start of last season, and while he has impressed in spells, consistency has been lacking.

Bayern officials suggested in James' first season that they had every intention of exercising their purchase option, but with that still to happen and more recent comments hinting at a change of mind, the Colombia international's future remains in the air.

James has started just five times in the Bundesliga this term, as he has struggled with a knee injury that has kept him sidelined since Novermber. 

As Bayern prepare to return from Germany's mid-season break away to Hoffenheim on Friday, Kovac is urging the playmaker to kick on and force the club into a decision.

"The competition is very big, but anyone can earn [their place]," Kovac told reporters on Wednesday.

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"All the players signing a contract here know that you can be out of the team.

"James is playing for his future. I expect him to keep pushing. I see that he is motivated and focused, he wants to play more than in the past.

"As a coach, I can only rate what I see on the pitch, which is the standard for him, but also for everyone else. Nothing else matters."

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